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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

OTP- August 2012: The Leader Post: New stadium won’t have same appeal, says Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee

“Building a new stadium down the street does not work unless (Ron) Lancaster spilled some DNA in the lot where they’re going to build the new stadium,” he added. “You have to refurbish (Mosaic Stadium). You’ve got to can all new ideas you might have and use the sacred ground. Fenway did that and that is why Fenway is loved. The new Yankee Stadium isn’t the same as it used to be.”

The former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher will not be running for the vacant mayor’s position in Regina later this year. With his opinion on the new stadium, he wasn’t sure he would garner many votes anyway. But that is nothing new to the former member of the Rhinoceros Party. Lee ran on the Rhino ticket in 1988 for president of the United States. Not surprisingly, he didn’t make the ballot in a single state. He said one of the high-ranking members within the party gave him a six-pack of Molson Canadian and asked him to run for president.

“I adhered to their funny philosophy,” Lee said. “My campaign slogan was ‘No guns, no butter. They’ll both kill you.’ And I only campaigned in federal prisons where I knew they couldn’t vote, and I only accepted a quarter in campaign contributions.”

With it being an election year in the U.S., Lee said he is all in for the re-election of Barack Obama.

“The only time (Mitt) Romney opens his mouth is when he needs to change feet,” Lee said of the Republican nominee. “If Obama does lose this, which I can’t see happening, then it’s because of a lady in Florida who works for Jeb Bush and Diebold, the voting-machine company. If Obama even comes close to losing this election, it’ll be fraud.”

Guess what, its the new OT politics thread!

Tripon Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM | 5975 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, politics

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   4101. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4219449)
What happened?

You don't want to know the details, trust me. But, I'll just say I have an internal blockage cause by scar tissue. This is major surgery #2 to try and fix it.

Best of luck with that: hope it's all a success.

Thanks!
   4102. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4219455)
FWIW --

Harry Reid gets a 50% ("mixed") from NRLC... The only Republicans I can see that are either at the same or lower from NLRC are two women in the House who gone this cycle due to redistricting (Mary Bono in CA and Judy Biggert in IL), and, in the Senate, Olympia Snowe and Mark Kirk... Lisa Murkowski is at 44% - if you still consider her a Republican.

OTOH - I count at least a dozen Democrats that get a 100% from the NRLC and at least another dozen Democrats that exceed Reid's 50% score.
   4103. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4219457)
Harry Reid gets a 50% ("mixed") from NRLC... The only Republicans I can see that are either at the same or lower from NLRC are two women in the House who gone this cycle due to redistricting (Mary Bono in CA and Judy Biggert in IL), and, in the Senate, Olympia Snowe and Mark Kirk... Lisa Murkowski is at 44% - if you still consider her a Republican.

Scott Brown and Kay Bailey Hutchison are also pro-choice.
   4104. Shredder Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4219460)
The father of Romneycare is the GOP presidential nominee.
Ah, yes, the incredibly liberal idea of Romneycare. The health care system that was designed by the Heritage Foundation. The plan that was championed by conservatives until Obama adopted it. You're not even trying anymore.
   4105. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4219465)
Scott Brown and Kay Bailey Hutchison are also pro-choice.


KBH is out in 2 months.

Scott Brown - we'll see... He certainly campaigns as pro-choice, but the NLRC gives him an 80% and NARAL gives Brown a 45%.
   4106. Lassus Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4219468)
Tom Smith's comments are no dumber than advocating for government to control what political speech is allowed and what is not.

Your opinion of gradations of stupidity are not empirical facts. You probably know that already, but as you brought up the comparison....

   4107. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4219471)
KBH is out in 2 months.

Scott Brown - we'll see... He certainly campaigns as pro-choice, but the NLRC gives him an 80% and NARAL gives Brown a 45%.


Well, KBH may be out, but she shows that you can have a pro-choice Rep. from Texas, of all places.

And Reid runs as pro-life, but doesn't use his power to advance pro-life legislation.

His party lets him make throw away votes to keep his ratings, when it doesn't matter.

Regardless of rating, the NRLC doesn't like him at all. See:

http://www.nrlc.org/HarryReidonAbortion.pdf
   4108. Steve Treder Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4219474)
The plan that was championed by conservatives until Obama adopted it.

Well, see, at that instant it immediately transmogrified from sound market-based economics to a secret UN-backed socialist plot for world domination. There was that.
   4109. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4219479)

LUDOWICI, Ga. (AP) — Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday.

Prosecutors in rural Long County, near the sprawling Army post Fort Stewart, said the militia group composed of active duty and former U.S. military members spent at least $87,000 buying guns and bomb components and was serious enough to kill two people — former soldier Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York — by shooting them in the woods last December in order to keep its plans secret.

"This domestic terrorist organization did not simply plan and talk," prosecutor Isabel Pauley told a Superior Court judge. "Prior to the murders in this case, the group took action. Evidence shows the group possessed the knowledge, means and motive to carry out their plans."

One of the Fort Stewart soldiers charged in the case, Army Pfc. Michael Burnett, also gave testimony that backed up many of the assertions made by prosecutors. The 26-year-old soldier pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter, illegal gang activity and other charges. He made a deal to cooperate with prosecutors in their case against the three other soldiers.

Prosecutors said the group called itself F.E.A.R., short for Forever Enduring Always Ready. Pauley said authorities don't know how many members the militia had.

...

Prosecutors say Roark, 19, served with the four defendants in the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division and became involved with the militia. Pauley said the group believed it had been betrayed by Roark, who left the Army two days before he was killed, and decided the ex-soldier and his girlfriend needed to be silenced.

Burnett testified that on the night of Dec. 4, he and the three other soldiers lured Roark and York to some woods a short distance from the Army post under the guise that they were going target shooting. He said Peden shot Roark's girlfriend in the head while she was trying to get out of her car. Salmon, he said, made Roark get on his knees and shot him twice in the head. Burnett said Aguigui ordered the killings.

"A loose end is the way Isaac put it," Burnett said.

...

Pauley said Aguigui funded the militia using $500,000 in insurance and benefit payments from the death of his pregnant wife a year ago. Aguigui was not charged in his wife's death, but Pauley told the judge her death was "highly suspicious."

She said Aguigui used the money to buy $87,000 worth of semiautomatic assault rifles, other guns and bomb components that were recovered from the accused soldiers' homes and from a storage locker. He also used the insurance payments to buy land for his militia group in Washington state, Pauley said.

In a videotaped interview with military investigators, Pauley said, Aguigui called himself "the nicest cold-blooded murderer you will ever meet." He used the Army to recruit militia members, who wore distinctive tattoos that resemble an anarchy symbol, she said. Prosecutors say they have no idea how many members belong to the group.


Source
   4110. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4219481)
BTW -

One mistake I think NARAL often makes -- they'll endorse even tepidly 'pro-choice' Republicans, guided by the philosophy that they want to maintain at least some influence in the GOP.

Compare that to the NRA's federal strategy -- while the NRA will occasionally endorse state-level Democrats (Howard Dean actually got the NRA at least twice in gubernatorial runs) -- I can't think of a single instance where they've ever done the same for Senate or House. Brian Schweitzer - who is ENORMOUSLY pro-gun - didn't get their backing when he ran for Senate, and John Tester has been on the receiving end of attacks both cycles he's run.

Now... over the last 15 years or so -- I think it would be entirely fair to say that the NRA has almost entirely, if not entirely had its way when it comes to federal legislation. Ever since the original 'assault weapons' band - has there been a single federal law that curtailed, rather than expanded, gun rights?

On the hand, what good has NARAL's practice of trying to maintain at least some pull in the GOP gotten it? Abortion legislation at the federal level has marched inexorably against NARAL's preferences. Even things like changing the Hyde rule from 'rape' to 'forcible rape' passes the House (with 100% of the GOP caucus) and only dies a pocket death in the senate due to inaction.

The NRA has gotten what it wants from its money -- the caucus it supports tows the party line entirely, while the caucus it doesn't support just hopes that the NRA will pick on someone else each cycle.
   4111. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4219484)

Well, KBH may be out, but she shows that you can have a pro-choice Rep. from Texas, of all places.

And Reid runs as pro-life, but doesn't use his power to advance pro-life legislation.

His party lets him make throw away votes to keep his ratings, when it doesn't matter.

Regardless of rating, the NRLC doesn't like him at all. See:


I'm sure they don't like him - like I said, he definitely toes the party line on shepherding legislation... no doubt about that.

But just look at the numbers -- dozens of Democrats score 100% with NRLC, but I can't find a single Republican that scores 0% with NRLC/100% with NARAL.

   4112. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4219485)
Ah, yes, the incredibly liberal idea of Romneycare. The health care system that was designed by the Heritage Foundation. The plan that was championed by conservatives until Obama adopted it. You're not even trying anymore.

Not this again. The Heritage "plan" was simply an alternative to Hillarycare. It was never a major right-wing proposal, by any stretch of the imagination.
   4113. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4219488)
Not this again. The Heritage "plan" was simply an alternative to Hillarycare. It was never a major right-wing proposal, by any stretch of the imagination.
Until Mitt and RomneyCare.
   4114. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4219489)
Awwww.. Snappy's back!
   4115. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4219492)
You don't want to know the details, trust me. But, I'll just say I have an internal blockage cause by scar tissue. This is major surgery #2 to try and fix it.


Not sure what's blocked, but I'm guessing anything blocked is pretty bad. Wish you luck!
   4116. steagles Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4219493)
Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia
former soldier Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York
Prosecutors say Roark, 19


based on the genarlow wilson precedent, it sounds to me that these men did gods work in bringing a rapist to justice.

i mean, if these two were sexually active, that's statutory rape, is it not?
   4117. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4219496)
Scoop Jackson was the quintessential liberal hawk ("The Senator from Boeing"), but aside from his foreign policy views, during his Senate career he was a liberal all the way

Scoop Jackson was opposed to busing, opposed the Roe v. Wade decision, and was an ardent hawk on defense. Not much room for those types in today's Democratic Party. Since he died in 1983, we'll never know what he'd say today, but his son switched to the GOP.


The real life Henry Jackson was born and died a Democrat. The hypothetical Henry Jackson would have had to decide whether his commitment to the the social safety net overrode his views on defense and abortion, since busing is scarcely much of an issue today.

The closest parallel to Jackson in recent years is the retiring Senator James Webb of Virginia, an economic liberal and a social conservative on many non-racial issues, and a believer in a strong national defense. I don't see him switching parties in the near future, and he certainly found a welcoming home in the Democratic Party.

-----------------------------------------

Then why does Nate get so much attention? Why do people trust/believe that a former baseball writer knows so much more than the political intelligentsia because he correctly predicted a single Democratic primary?

Joe, are you capable of writing even a single post with engaging in a major distortion of reality? You do realize that there was also a general election that year, don't you?

The accuracy of his November 2008 presidential election predictions—he correctly predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states—won Silver further attention and commendation. The only state he missed was Indiana, which went for Barack Obama by 1%. He also correctly predicted the winner of all 35 Senate races that year.


And in the 2010 elections, on the Monday before the election, he called for a GOP gain of 53 or 54 House seats, and gave them a 50-50 chance of winning "at least" 49 seats in the Senate. Neither of those predictions was exactly anything to be ashamed of. I mention them only because they seem thus far to have eluded your attention.
   4118. Shredder Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4219497)
Not this again. The Heritage "plan" was simply an alternative to Hillarycare. It was never a major right-wing proposal, by any stretch of the imagination.
That's pretty solid messaging. "Pay no attention to these policy proposals we've created. Because we have no real principles, we've only created them as lesser alternatives, and will immediately ditch them the moment they become a source of compromise." The Republican Party: Always willing to meet halfway...until YOU agree to meet halfway, at which point we'll need to redefine halfway.
   4119. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4219506)
Joe, are you capable of writing even a single post with engaging in a major distortion of reality? You do realize that there was also a general election that year, don't you?

Nate became prominent long before the 2008 election. He went from posting under an alias to being on national TV within a matter of weeks.

***
That's pretty solid messaging. "Pay no attention to these policy proposals we've created. Because we have no real principles, we've only created them as lesser alternatives, and will immediately ditch them the moment they become a source of compromise."

Welcome to politics. Is this your first day here?
   4120. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4219508)

Compare that to the NRA's federal strategy -- while the NRA will occasionally endorse state-level Democrats (Howard Dean actually got the NRA at least twice in gubernatorial runs) -- I can't think of a single instance where they've ever done the same for Senate or House.


That's not true at all.

In 2010 the NRA endorsed 58 incumbent House Democrats.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/06/AR2010100606329.html
   4121. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4219513)
Always willing to meet halfway...until YOU agree to meet halfway, at which point we'll need to redefine halfway.

Whereas a Democrat thinks meeting someone halfway is a mugger and pedestrian agreeing to exchange money for life.

[Edit: That's a little unfair. Muggers don't generally cry to the media after the mugging saying that they were robbed because a wallet is worth way less than a life.]
   4122. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4219514)
Then why does Nate get so much attention? Why do people trust/believe that a former baseball writer knows so much more than the political intelligentsia because he correctly predicted a single Democratic primary?

Joe, are you capable of writing even a single post with engaging in a major distortion of reality? You do realize that there was also a general election that year, don't you?

The accuracy of his November 2008 presidential election predictions—he correctly predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states—won Silver further attention and commendation. The only state he missed was Indiana, which went for Barack Obama by 1%. He also correctly predicted the winner of all 35 Senate races that year.


And in the 2010 elections, on the Monday before the election, he called for a GOP gain of 53 or 54 House seats, and gave them a 50-50 chance of winning "at least" 49 seats in the Senate. Neither of those predictions was exactly anything to be ashamed of. I mention them only because they seem thus far to have eluded your attention.


Nate became prominent long before the 2008 election. He went from posting under an alias to being on national TV within a matter of weeks.


IOW you have nothing at all to back up that first claim, so you immediately change the subject by introducing an extraneous point, and pretend that your first comment no longer exists. I sure hope for your sake that you don't act like this during your day job.


   4123. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4219515)
IOW you have nothing at all to back up that first claim, so you immediately change the subject by introducing an extraneous point, and pretend that your first comment no longer exists. I sure hope for your sake that you don't act like this during your day job.

What the hell are you talking about? Nate's record in 2010 means nothing when the topic is Nate's unprecedented ascent to political-expert status in 2008. Nate went from being a total unknown in the political world to making major national TV appearances within a matter of weeks, if not days, after putting his name on his very first political article.
   4124. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4219518)
Whereas a Democrat thinks meeting someone halfway is a mugger and pedestrian agreeing to exchange money for life.
This is why politics is the way it is. If compromise is going to be compared to giving in to muggers, then we have exactly the politics we deserve. Hell, we may deserve a lot worse than we have.
   4125. Steve Treder Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4219520)
If compromise is going to be compared to giving in to muggers, then we have exactly the politics we deserve. Hell, we may deserve a lot worse than we have.

This.
   4126. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4219522)

This is why politics is the way it is. If compromise is going to be compared to giving in to muggers, then we have exactly the politics we deserve. Hell, we may deserve a lot worse than we have.</I


Since "Democrats" were in the sentence, any connection to compromise was only in the abstract sense. This is a party that thinks a "savage, brutal cut" involves cutting something's growth to three times inflation from four times inflation. This is the party that use the word "racism" more than the word "the."
   4127. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4219525)
You don't want to know the details, trust me. But, I'll just say I have an internal blockage cause by scar tissue. This is major surgery #2 to try and fix it.


No, I didn't even want to know that much, but while I'm not going t thank you for sharing I do wish you good luck.
   4128. Lassus Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4219527)
Whereas a Democrat thinks meeting someone halfway is a mugger and pedestrian agreeing to exchange money for life.

Dan, it seems for you lately that "Democrat" has become what "liberal" is for Joe. With the same dismissive vitriol regardless of truth or nuance.
   4129. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4219528)
No, I didn't even want to know that much, but while I'm not going t thank you for sharing I do wish you good luck.

I did kinda ask - I don't talk to snapper over email so had no idea why he was gone. But if you think of the parts of the body, blockage is usually bad.
   4130. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4219531)
Dan, it seems for you lately that "Democrat" has become what "liberal" is for Joe. With the same dismissive vitriol regardless of truth or nuance.

This thread has been nonstop dismissive vitriol coming from Democrats. Turnabout is fair play.

(Edit: Not that dismissive vitriol is even remotely exclusively the Democrats here, but I'm not pretending to be horrified while my monocle falls off my face)

(Edit 2: And the handle is a reference to a great 30 Rock joke)
   4131. tshipman Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4219534)
What the hell are you talking about? Nate's record in 2010 means nothing when the topic is Nate's unprecedented ascent to political-expert status in 2008. Nate went from being a total unknown in the political world to making major national TV appearances within a matter of weeks, if not days, after putting his name on his very first political article.


I think some of this was the novelty factor (former baseball whiz turned political analyst!). Also, for whatever reason, there was a real void in the polling marketplace.

People had been aggregating polls for some time, but Nate was the first person to weight them and do so in an intelligent way. I think this set him apart. His subsequent good results in 2010 and the in the general in 2008 has certainly helped his reputation.
   4132. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4219538)
This is major surgery #2 to try and fix it.

Let's hope posting at BBTF is therapeutic.
   4133. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4219539)
I wanna see "Dan is Awesome"'s ID card, I do, although I'd settle for his tax returns. 3 comments to his name so far.
   4134. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4219540)
Joe, Nate does excellent work. He takes objective analysis very seriously. And not in the "Froma Harrop takes invective seriously except when it's something she's made about" sense.
   4135. Shredder Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4219542)
Whereas a Democrat thinks meeting someone halfway is a mugger and pedestrian agreeing to exchange money for life.
That explains why they adopted a Republican created health care policy instead of the preferred (and more efficient) single payer. I will give Dan credit, however, for simply personifying the old saying that a "Libertarian" is nothing more than a Republican who's too ashamed to admit he's a Republican.
   4136. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4219543)
Since "Democrats" were in the sentence, any connection to compromise was only in the abstract sense.
The quotes that led directly to this comment -- Joe K's and Shredder's observations on the origins of the present ACA -- gives us a pretty concrete relevant example. Democrats adopt an idea generated by a conservative think tank and championed by (among others) the current GOP presidential candidate, but put Obama's name on it and it's poison. (I'm not saying Democrats don't do similar; this just happens to be the topical example for this page.)

The history of politics from before the first Roman Senate on down is replete with name-calling. I don't care about that. But I'm right in that compromise is dead. Blame whomever you want.
   4137. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4219545)
I wanna see "Dan is Awesome"'s ID card, I do, although I'd settle for his tax returns. 3 comments to his name so far.

It doesn't exactly take a brain surgeon to figure out who this is. Given that I left BTF, no need to continue to shun relative anonymity.
   4138. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4219546)
Joe, Nate does excellent work. He takes objective analysis very seriously. And not in the "Froma Harrop takes invective seriously except when it's something she's made about" sense.

I've never suggested Nate didn't do excellent work with aggregating and presenting polling numbers. My point is simply that political numbers are only as good as the people analyzing them. I have no doubt that Nate is a statistical expert, but I'm not convinced that he's a political expert.
   4139. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4219549)
That's pretty solid messaging. "Pay no attention to these policy proposals we've created. Because we have no real principles, we've only created them as lesser alternatives, and will immediately ditch them the moment they become a source of compromise." The Republican Party: Always willing to meet halfway...until YOU agree to meet halfway, at which point we'll need to redefine halfway.


Or it could be like the debt-ceiling negotiations where you meet them where they want, then they take several steps back and say you wouldn't take "yes" for an answer.
   4140. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4219550)
Democrats adopt an idea generated by a conservative think tank and championed by (among others) the current GOP presidential candidate, but put Obama's name on it and it's poison.

Or maybe it's poison because Obama campaigned aggressively against a mandate when he ran for the White House.
   4141. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4219551)
Or maybe it's poison because Obama campaigned aggressively against a mandate when he ran for the White House.
Yeah, that's the reason why Republicans oppose a mandate.
   4142. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4219552)
That explains why they adopted a Republican created health care policy instead of the preferred (and more efficient) single payer. I will give Dan credit, however, for simply personifying the old saying that a "Libertarian" is nothing more than a Republican who's too ashamed to admit he's a Republican.

There were 21 Republican co-sponsors of that proposal. 17 were gone by 2009. I didn't know that current legislators were bound by a different group of legislators in 1993.

A libertarian only looks like a Republican in a group that would have an average DW-NOMINATE to the left of Bernie Sanders.
   4143. Lassus Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4219554)
This thread has been nonstop dismissive vitriol coming from Democrats. Turnabout is fair play.

That you have no interest in recognizing when people on the left actually on occasion agree with the right does not mean it doesn't occur. "Nonstop" is fiction.
   4144. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4219555)
I have no doubt that Nate is a statistical expert, but I'm not convinced that he's a political expert.

There are no political experts. There are rightists who think everything Republicans do is a super-awesome genius move and leftists who think everything Democrats do is an amazingly clever master gambit.
   4145. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4219559)
That you have no interest in recognizing when people on the left actually on occasion agree with the right does not mean it doesn't occur. "Nonstop" is pure fiction.

The main substantive disagreements between the leftist Democrats on this site (with the exception of Zen Bitz and possibly MCoA):

- What ratio of stupid/evil/crazy Republicans are
- Whether government assassinations are good when Democrats are in power or whether government assassination are bad but just shouldn't be mentioned when Democrats are in power
- Whether government censorship of political speech is bodacious, or simply awesome.
   4146. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4219561)
It doesn't exactly take a brain surgeon to figure out who this is. Given that I left BTF, no need to continue to shun relative anonymity.

Dammit, just when I was beginning to remember it's "Szym" and not "Syzm".

----------------------------------------

I've never suggested Nate didn't do excellent work with the numbers. My point is simply that political numbers are only as good as the people analyzing them. I have no doubt that Nate is a statistical expert, but I'm not convinced that he's a political expert.

So what are your criteria for "political expert"? And who would qualify under your standards? Kevin Phillips? Michael Barone? Mr. & Mrs. James Carville? I'm not arguing here, just trying to figure out what you mean by the term.

AFAICT Nate's a statistician who's (so far) done a pretty damn good job of applying his statistical method to politics, which at the very least makes him (provisionally) an "expert" political statistician---which is all that most people are really taking him to be.
   4147. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4219569)
It doesn't exactly take a brain surgeon to figure out who this is. Given that I left BTF, no need to continue to shun relative anonymity.

Can somebody help me out with a hint? I've been gone for a couple of months.
   4148. tshipman Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4219570)
The main substantive disagreements between the leftist Democrats on this site (with the exception of Zen Bitz and possibly MCoA):

- What ratio of stupid/evil/crazy Republicans are
- Whether government assassinations are good when Democrats are in power or whether government assassination are bad but just shouldn't be mentioned when Democrats are in power
- Whether government censorship of political speech is bodacious, or simply awesome.


Bit shrill.
   4149. zenbitz Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4219574)
Didn't Nate also correctly PREdict 48/50 states in the general in 2008? Or 49? And the one-two he missed were by a whisker?

   4150. Lassus Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4219577)
- What ratio of stupid/evil/crazy Republicans are
- Whether government assassinations are good when Democrats are in power or whether government assassination are bad but just shouldn't be mentioned when Democrats are in power
- Whether government censorship of political speech is bodacious, or simply awesome.


As you included us all, find my posts about these. Find where my not being sure that campaign finance reform is equal to repealing the first amendment includes how bodacious and/or awesome censorship is. The part where I legitimately asked to be convinced of what you guys thought about the money, maybe. Find where I talked about how good assassinations are no matter who is in power. Find where I referred to anyone other than Akin as stupid, evil, or crazy. (Because I'm pretty sure I must have called his Revised Reproductive Science curriculum "stupid".) Find where I referred to "Republicans" once as a whole entity of stupid, evil, and crazy.

As you've decided to absolutely revel in being a complete jerk about the whole thing, put your goddamned money where your mouth is as far as how we all suck. Trot out what I said that fits into your narrative of how we're all alike. I'll wait.

EDIT: I'll also await the corollary of how formerly dp in his debate with GoodFace managed anything as vitriolic as "worthless" which is what he was called.
   4151. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4219578)
It doesn't exactly take a brain surgeon to figure out who this is. Given that I left BTF, no need to continue to shun relative anonymity.


Can somebody help me out with a hint? I've been gone for a couple of months.

Dan's in hiding after killing Kevin. I thought even you would've heard that by now.

----------------------------------------------------

Didn't Nate also correctly PREdict 48/50 states in the general in 2008? Or 49? And the one-two he missed were by a whisker?

He missed only Indiana, by a fraction of a percentage point.
   4152. villageidiom Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4219584)
What the hell are you talking about? Nate's record in 2010 means nothing when the topic is Nate's unprecedented ascent to political-expert status in 2008. Nate went from being a total unknown in the political world to making major national TV appearances within a matter of weeks, if not days, after putting his name on his very first political article.
The topic was Nate Silver, in 2012, being a respected authority on the statistical merit of a purportedly statisitical model with a political subject. Whether he is a political expert, or perceived as a political expert, and whether that status had any merit in 2008 or since, is a side discussion you've introduced.

If you're suggesting the UC model is a political statement rather than a statistical model, then we're all good; Silver is relatively unqualified to offer political analysis. I think the rest of us were entertaining a notion that what is purported to be a statistical model should be judged on its statistical merits, and Nate Silver is very qualified to do so.
   4153. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4219585)
The main substantive disagreements between the leftist Democrats on this site (with the exception of Zen Bitz and possibly MCoA):

- What ratio of stupid/evil/crazy Republicans are


what are you talking about, there's no disagreement on this, Republicans are stupid AND evil and crazy.

   4154. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4219586)
Nate Silver is a highly successful popularizer of contemporary quantitative political science. His understanding of polling and elections is drawn mostly from his reading of contemporary work in the field, and he remains in public conversation with a variety of working political scientists. You can see this in the discussion of "convention bounces" Ron quoted earlier. He uses his writing skill and his statistical expertise to transform a whole lot of academic work into models and discussion which can be interesting and readable for the public.

The "political experts", then, are the actual academics in the field whose work Silver is drawing on, and he has remained in close conversation with them.
   4155. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4219588)
Arguing that Obama is the deficit hawk is just spin.

If you like deficit hawk spin, the Republican Convention will be like Christmas and your birthday rolled into one. Just read about its dueling, giant, on-stage debt clocks from this press release disguised as a news article. Here's an excerpt that may be indicative of the political posturing and factual distortions we'll be hearing over the next few days:
The record-high national debt stands at $15.9 trillion, with nearly a third of this overspending the direct responsibility of this President.

"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand that burdening our children with such massive debt is a loan on their future," Priebus said. "We can do better than this, and on day one of the Romney-Ryan Administration, Mitt Romney will take immediate action to cut federal spending and bring the debt under control."

When he was sworn in as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney inherited a $3 billion budget gap, Priebus recalled. "Thanks to bold, sensible cost-cutting efforts he initiated, Governor Romney left the taxpayers with a $2 billion surplus – a 'rainy day' fund – just four years later."
   4156. tshipman Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4219590)
Nate Silver is a highly successful popularizer of contemporary quantitative political science. His understanding of polling and elections is drawn mostly from his reading of contemporary work in the field. You can see this in the discussion of "convention bounces" Ron quoted earlier.

The "political experts", then, are the actual academics in the field whose work Silver is drawing on, and he has remained in close conversation with them.


John Sides, for example, has gotten a lot more famous because of Nate Silver.

The main substantive disagreements between the leftist Democrats on this site


There are fairly high levels of cleavage over:
Education
Free/fair trade
What to do with TBTF banks
Appropriate housing policy
Monetary policy
Immigration

Apparently the, "He's Bought a Bat like Prince Fielder" moniker was too subtle for Szymborski's tastes.
   4157. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4219591)
We had a little dust-up on Afghanistan a few pages back. There are a ton of disagreements whenever issues of gender and race come up.

Adding: the one thing we all agree on is that Dan really needs to go and learn what a corporation is before getting his dudgeon on again.
   4158. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4219592)
So what are your criteria for "political expert"? And who would qualify under your standards? Kevin Phillips? Michael Barone? Mr. & Mrs. James Carville? I'm not arguing here, just trying to figure out what you mean by the term.

AFAICT Nate's a statistician who's (so far) done a pretty damn good job of applying his statistical method to politics, which at the very least makes him (provisionally) an "expert" political statistician---which is all that most people are really taking him to be.

Generally, my definition of "expert" is someone with more than a few weeks of experience in a given field. Nate's been at this for four years now in the political arena, but he went from nobody to rock star in 2008 based on a few posts he made under an alias.

As for the "(provisionally) an 'expert' political statistician," I don't necessarily disagree, although it's interesting how many liberals in these threads have gone to great lengths to mention that they believe Nate's analysis of the 2012 election is way off, the latest being 'Johnny Sycophant' earlier today (#4048).
   4159. Lassus Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4219593)
I'm sorry to keep on with this rant, but again, for Dan - why not take the numerous times I've said the libertarians should have you as your spokesperson, the times I've been with you on immigration and borders, on various other topics, and then just keep reminding me how all the democrats have such vitriol dancing on the faces of those who don't agree with us and spitting at intelligent discourse by the purpose of being democrats. Seriously, tell me how there's no consensus at all because we all want to invade your home and put you in seatbelts. Jesus ############# christ on a bicycle.
   4160. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4219598)
Dan, it seems for you lately that "Democrat" has become what "liberal" is for Joe. With the same dismissive vitriol regardless of truth or nuance.


Apparently Dan is an ex-Demo, his vitriol is for the party he used to be a member/supporter of voter for, as an ex-Repub I can relate

Joe's vitriol is for the mythical "liberal" strawman of the right's imagination.
   4161. tshipman Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4219603)
Adding: the one thing we all agree on is that Dan really needs to go and learn what a corporation is before getting his dudgeon on again.


He also still hasn't explained why he doesn't rail against bribery laws.


Generally, my definition of "expert" is someone with more than a few weeks of experience in a given field. Nate's been at this for four years now in the political arena, but he went from nobody to rock star in 2008 based on a few posts he made under an alias.

As for the "(provisionally) an 'expert' political statistician," I don't necessarily disagree, although it's interesting how many liberals in these threads have gone to great lengths to mention that they believe Nate's analysis of the 2012 election is way off, the latest being 'Johnny Sycophant" earlier today (#4048).


I think that people do the hedging out of fear/uncertainty. It feels wrong to say that something is 70% likely vs. 55% likely. I think that people are generally bad at giving percentages of how likely they feel something is. I, for one, am willing to go with Nate's model. It's at least rigorous.

Again, I think a lot of it had to do with the void in the field. A lot of pollsters were running around saying that their poll was the one to trust, but Nate provided a coherent rubric. His early work, even though it was done under an alias (wasn't it at like kosfiles or something?) was really interesting and unique.
   4162. Steve Treder Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4219605)
I think that people do the hedging out of fear/uncertainty. It feels wrong to say that something is 70% likely vs. 55% likely. I think that people are generally bad at giving percentages of how likely they feel something is. I, for one, am willing to go with Nate's model. It's at least rigorous.

I'm comfortable with Nate's model as well, precisely because it's so rigorous. And FWIW, I don't really get the fear/uncertainty/"it feels wrong" reaction. As I understand it, Silver comes up with his 70% (or whatever it precisely it is today -- OK, I just checked, 69.3%) figure by running a gazillion sims, and that's how prevalently this outcome is yielded. Obviously the devil's always in the details on these things, but conceptually the method appears completely sound.
   4163. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4219606)
Neither party outpaces the other in using 'the deficit' as anything other than window dressing... Republicans only use it as a cudgel to do what they want to do (cut spending) without actually saying the exact thing they want to do because 1) the spending they really want to cut either does not impact the deficit other than financing it (SS & Medicare), and 2) the elephant in the budget - with a few exceptions (the Pauls) - defense, they don't want to cut.

Democrats only use it to point out that Republican presidents have generally kept up with, if not outpaced, Democrats in adding to the deficit.

Dick Cheney can say 'deficits don't matter' and we can embark on two wars with the historically ridiculous proposition of actually cutting taxes to "pay for" them...

While Barack Obama will also try to nab the 'deficit hawk' label when he was forced into a debt limit deal that solely cut spending, without extracting one ounce of increased revenue (taxes) -- something any rational numbers guy thinks is necessary.

Neither party gives a rats ass about the 'deficit'... one side simply wants to use to get rid of programs that they're philosophically opposed to, the other side simply wants to use to bash the hypocrisy of a party they're opposed to...

And guess what -- the polls say that large majorities of Americans feel the same way.

Let them rank the importance of the 'deficit' - and it's like the environment... everyone is askerred of the deficit. Give them a choice between cutting this, that, or the other in with the deficit, and they'll want to keep this, that, or the other.
   4164. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4219608)
Again, I think a lot of it had to do with the void in the field. ...

I agree. Again, lest anyone believe otherwise, I enjoy Nate's work and I'm impressed with his quick ascent in the political world. More than anything, I'm just skeptical when people present allegedly unbiased numbers alongside partisan analysis. Nate makes no secret that he's a political liberal, so it would be naive to believe that biases can't and don't creep into his methodology and/or analysis. (And unlike a zero-sum baseball game, there are all sorts of ways for bias to creep into political modeling, whether it's the Dem/GOP weight, voter enthusiasm, registered vs. likely, etc.)
   4165. tshipman Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4219615)
I agree. Again, lest anyone believe otherwise, I enjoy Nate's work and I'm impressed with his quick ascent in the political world. More than anything, I'm just skeptical when people present allegedly unbiased numbers alongside partisan analysis. Nate makes no secret that he's a political liberal, so it would be naive to believe that biases can't and don't creep into his methodology and/or analysis.


Well, after every election and primary, you have to mark your analysis to market, don't you? That's why I remain impressed with Nate's work. He goes over things that he misses and tries to discuss why he might have missed. Most pollsters either don't really do this or don't address criticism well.

Neither party gives a rats ass about the 'deficit'... one side simply wants to use to get rid of programs that they're philosophically opposed to, the other side simply wants to use to bash the hypocrisy of a party they're opposed to...


I disagree somewhat. I think both parties have members who sincerely want to reduce the deficit. Tom Coburn, for example, is quite serious about it. I disagree somewhat with his proposals, but he's realistic. I think Ron Wyden is too. Deficit reduction is generally an elite-focused policy.
   4166. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4219640)
Generally, my definition of "expert" is someone with more than a few weeks of experience in a given field. Nate's been at this for four years now in the political arena, but he went from nobody to rock star in 2008 based on a few posts he made under an alias.

As for the "(provisionally) an 'expert' political statistician," I don't necessarily disagree, although it's interesting how many liberals in these threads have gone to great lengths to mention that they believe Nate's analysis of the 2012 election is way off, the latest being 'Johnny Sycophant' earlier today (#4048).


Okay, I think I'm getting your take a bit more. Now all I need to know would be a few examples you'd cite as "political experts". Would they be poli sci academics, political historians, walking political encyclopedias like Michael Barone, or people with long experience on the ground, like Rove or Carville? I think you could reasonably make a case for any or all of these definitions.

The reason I think of Nate as more or less a political "expert" is that (1) he seems very well grounded in his knowledge of specific races well beyond the presidency, sort of like a latter-day Barone, if not without Barone's frequent flyer miles; (2) his PREdictions in 2008 and 2010 were pretty damn good; and (3) he's always looking to make corrections in his method. It's why I compared him earlier to Bill James in his approach to his subject, even if he's not a "political expert" in the same way that an academic or a seasoned pol or a Michael Barone might be.

And BTW I'd certainly consider Barone a major political expert, even though his views for the past few decades are about as conservative as they come. I respect knowledge no matter what the person makes of it.
   4167. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4219668)
Can somebody help me out with a hint? I've been gone for a couple of months


Dan use to write Transaction Oracle.

Rickey used to write Deep Left Field.
   4168. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4219671)
The reason I think of Nate as more or less a political "expert" is that (1) he seems very well grounded in his knowledge of specific races well beyond the presidency, sort of like a latter-day Barone, if not without Barone's frequent flyer miles; (2) his PREdictions in 2008 and 2010 were pretty damn good; and (3) he's always looking to make corrections in his method. It's why I compared him earlier to Bill James in his approach to his subject, even if he's not a "political expert" in the same way that an academic or a seasoned pol or a Michael Barone might be.


Nate is an expert in quantitative statistical analysis. He used to do QA on baseball, then turned his focus on political polling. If you want an expert in working up the bases and driving get out the vote efforts, ask Rove or Carville. If you want messaging expertise for a given cycle, maybe Barone. If you want to read the data in a semi-detached, relatively scientific manner, look to Nate.

This isn't hard.

EDIT: Another, less statistically oriented method of flawlessly predicting upcoming elections is to find out what Dick Morris says will happen, and bet heavily on the opposite.
   4169. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4219689)
Nate is an expert in quantitative statistical analysis. He used to do QA on baseball, then turned his focus on political polling. If you want an expert in working up the bases and driving get out the vote efforts, ask Rove or Carville. If you want messaging expertise for a given cycle, maybe Barone. If you want to read the data in a semi-detached, relatively scientific manner, look to Nate.

This isn't hard.


Yeah, it just depends on what you're looking for from an "political expert".

EDIT: Another, less statistically oriented method of flawlessly predicting upcoming elections is to find out what Dick Morris says will happen, and bet heavily on the opposite.

What, you mean that President Condoleezza Rice isn't girding herself for a rematch against Hillary Clinton? You could've knocked me over with a feather.
   4170. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4219705)
EDIT: Another, less statistically oriented method of flawlessly predicting upcoming elections is to find out what Dick Morris says will happen, and bet heavily on the opposite.

That's if you're a lefty. If you're a right-winger, you use Bob Shrum.
   4171. tshipman Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4219715)
That's if you're a lefty. If you're a right-winger, you use Bob Shrum.


Can't we all agree that they're both jackasses?
   4172. JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4219725)
The reason I think of Nate as more or less a political "expert" is that (1) he seems very well grounded in his knowledge of specific races well beyond the presidency, sort of like a latter-day Barone, if not without Barone's frequent flyer miles; (2) his PREdictions in 2008 and 2010 were pretty damn good; and (3) he's always looking to make corrections in his method. It's why I compared him earlier to Bill James in his approach to his subject, even if he's not a "political expert" in the same way that an academic or a seasoned pol or a Michael Barone might be.

And BTW I'd certainly consider Barone a major political expert, even though his views for the past few decades are about as conservative as they come. I respect knowledge no matter what the person makes of it.

This, although Michael is not that conservative.
   4173. zenbitz Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4219728)
Deleted for bad mmath
   4174. zenbitz Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4219731)
Saying Nate Silver's predictions are biased because he's a liberal is like saying PECOTA is biased because he's an As (or whatever) fan. His articles and analysis may be biased, but i think his numbers are clean.

I think a lot of liberals - for reasons of self-loathing or earnest ragging - think its a lot closer. The argument that all the variance skews Romney is somewhat compelling, but it requiers as they say "unknown unknowns" which are hard to assign Baysian priors too.

The bottom line is that romney needs to win a 30-70 proposition like Ohio and Wisconsin to make a game of it. Obviously if they flip then states like MN and PA will be much closer.
   4175. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4219733)
I'm close to Joe on the Nate Silver thing. He went from nobody (in the political arena) to somebody almost literally overnight. And if he weren't a liberal himself, I can't see that the BBTF high-fivers would be kneeling before him.
   4176. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4219737)
Yeah, a big time stat nerd who uses his baseball stat nerdiness to analyze elections would never fly here unless people thought he was a liberal.

Some of this is silly. Nate Silver isn't telling me things I want to hear therefore we should dismiss him. Has it really come to that?
   4177. GregD Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4219739)
Barone is a strange figure. His purely analytic writing is extremely reliable. On his opinion pieces, he can write 8 or 10 columns in a row where he sounds like a thoughtful, serious conservative, one who has a well-articulated point of view but isn't defined by it. And then he can write one where it sounds like Krauthammer's stinking corpse took over his brain and he's just turned into the hackiest hack. e.g.

One is foreign policy chops. Romney has less in the way of exposure to serious involvement in foreign and defense policy than any major-party nominee since Bill Clinton in 1992 and Romney's fellow Bay Stater Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Ryan, as a member of the House, theoretically brings a little more. But actually a good bit more, to judge from a little-noticed speech he delivered three blocks from the White House to the Alexander Hamilton Society in June 2011....

This election can be seen as a contest between the Founders' ideas and those of the Progressives, who saw the Founders as outmoded in an industrial era.

Ryan strengthens Romney in his invocation of the Founders. Obama is stuck with the tinny and outdated debunking of the Progressives. Which rings truer today?



Barone trying to earn his paycheck

Or his weird puff piece on David Koch, who just wants to be remembered as someone who tried to help people. Not that this isn't part of David Koch's story, but to make it the entirety is to make one wonder whether the PR intern got ahold of the byline.


Or this weird one:

Americans keep behaving in ways that baffle the liberal mainstream media. Two examples figured prominently--or should have--in last week's news.

One is the runoff primary for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Texas. Former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz thumped incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, 57 to 43 percent.

Cruz won even though the Texas Republican establishment, from Gov. Rick Perry on down, endorsed Dewhurst. So did the Austin lobbying community, since Dewhurst as lieutenant governor has run the state Senate for the last 10 years (and, having lost this race, will do so for at least the next two).

Dewhurst has had a generally conservative record and had no problem getting elected and reelected statewide four times. And he spent liberally from the fortune he made in the private sector.

To be fair, some MSM outlets did run stories on Cruz's rise in the polls since he ran behind Dewhurst by a 45- to 34-percent margin in the May 29 primary. And it's not uncommon for a second-place finisher to overcome the primary winner in a runoff.

But there's a pattern here that the big liberal press has been reluctant to recognize: Candidates from the GOP establishment are getting knocked off by challengers with less name recognition, far less money, and the support of the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party was supposed to be dead and gone, you know.

Michael Barone uses the errors of the Texas Republican Party to impugn the "liberal media"

It does make you wonder if he has quarterly reviews at AEI and likes to file something from the Krauthammer archives just to keep things happy on the home front. He'll do 8-10 columns in a row that are plausibly, then drop in one that assumes some Republican is a Founder/George Washington incarnate, and the opponent is an enemy of the Founders and thus the nation.
   4178. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4219741)
And if he weren't a liberal himself, I can't see that the BBTF high-fivers would be kneeling before him.


I thought he was a BBTF hero because he's "one of us" - he's a baseball guy. That said, I'm actually not all that impressed by his "political analysis" and I think it does tend to betray his liberal bias. But when he sticks to the numbers and statistical methodology and the like, he's very good.

The bottom line is that romney needs to win a 30-70 proposition like Ohio and Wisconsin to make a game of it.


One thing that Nate's talked about, and that we saw in 2010 (where, as Joe noted above, 14 of 15 Nate "tossups" broke to the R's), is that if events do break one way, they'll tend to break the same way across all or most of the tossup states. So, on the one hand, Romney has to win all or most of the "tossups", but if things break his way, that can happen. That said, I'm pretty sure that's already baked into Nate's model. If all of the tossup states were treated as being independent of each other, I think Obama would be in a much stronger position statistically.
   4179. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4219744)
Yeah, a big time stat nerd who uses his baseball stat nerdiness to analyze elections would never fly here unless people thought he was a liberal.


Pretty much, yes.
   4180. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4219745)
Bob shrum has the added benefit of being the Anthony young of political pros... I remember reading a quote from a GOP operative about Shrum: we take our losers out back and shoot 'em, you guys keep recycling them.

That ain't wrong - or at least it used to be. Alex castellanos isn't über successful and I suppose what's his name (cranky guy with a beard, ran Bachmann's campaign) has had his misses.... But no one loses better than shrumie.... And thats before we even get into someone like joe trippi, who's sort the next gen shrum.
   4181. Monty Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4219746)
I'm close to Joe on the Nate Silver thing. He went from nobody (in the political arena) to somebody almost literally overnight. And if he weren't a liberal himself, I can't see that the BBTF high-fivers would be kneeling before him as if he were Zod.


But at this point, he's got a track record. I don't think you can just handwave it away because his predictions lean liberal.

Actually, hang on. Is it possible that his predictions lean liberal and he's just been lucky that the national elections have match up with that? I guess we can't really judge someone in his line of work until presidential elections have gone each way under his watch.
   4182. GregD Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4219748)
One thing that Nate's talked about, and that we saw in 2010 (where, as Joe noted above, 14 of 15 Nate "tossups" broke to the R's), is that if events do break one way, they'll tend to break the same way across all or most of the tossup states. So, on the one hand, Romney has to win all or most of the "tossups", but if things break his way, that can happen. That said, I'm pretty sure that's already baked into Nate's model. If all of the tossup states were treated as being independent of each other, I think Obama would be in a much stronger position statistically.
Yes Nate writes that his model has a lot of interdependence, even between states that are in different categories. So if Romney wins Ohio by 3 points, he's going to be expected to cut into his margin of defeat in Pennsylvania, even if he's still unlikely to win there. The belief is that populations move in tandem but are represented at different levels at different states, and this is, I believe, also tied to regional models, so there's a Rust Bust population tendency that is treated differently than a Sun Belt population tendency. (I could have misunderstood this.)

Nate's model, then, would be most likely to go awry if some outside event--a natural disaster? a localized scandal?--devastated the party in one state without spillover effects on the others. Beyond that, his assumption is that the gap between, say, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin is fairly stable, so campaigns will rise and fall together there, or in Arizona/New Mexico/Nevada, or in Oregon/Washington. Thus his sense that it is very unlikely for Pennsylvania to be Romney's tipping point state; if Romney is winning Pennsylvania, he's likely carried a whole slew of slightly less Democratic Rust Belt states and have already won the White House. Ditto Obama and, say, Arizona, or Georgia.
   4183. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4219756)
Saying Nate Silver's predictions are biased because he's a liberal is like saying PECOTA is biased because he's an As (or whatever) fan.

No, they're two different animals. Baseball is essentially a zero-sum game with 30 teams and ~1,000 players, while politics is essentially a binary choice in a much more nebulous environment. In politics, there's far more room for biases — conscious and subconscious — to impact the data.

His articles and analysis may be biased, but i think his numbers are clean.

I've never accused Nate of cooking the numbers. Mostly, I'm still at the "what to make of this?" stage, since Nate's political track record is very short and he's a numbers guy who has known liberal leanings. As I've said several times, I really enjoy his site, but sometimes I sense a disconnect between the data he presents and his analysis of that data. Maybe it's unfair to hold his political disclosures against him, but it is what it is. I wish there was a numbers genius who loved analyzing polls but couldn't care less about politics, who simply presented the same types of data without any punditry.

***
But there's a pattern here that the big liberal press has been reluctant to recognize: Candidates from the GOP establishment are getting knocked off by challengers with less name recognition, far less money, and the support of the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party was supposed to be dead and gone, you know.

I don't know what qualifies this as "weird." I've been reading for a year that the Tea Party is dead, and yet it keeps racking up wins.
   4184. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4219759)
I think a lot of liberals - for reasons of self-loathing or earnest ragging - think its a lot closer. The argument that all the variance skews Romney is somewhat compelling, but it requiers as they say "unknown unknowns" which are hard to assign Baysian priors too.

The bottom line is that romney needs to win a bunch of 30-70 propositions like Ohio and Wisconsin to make a game of it. Obviously if they flip then states like MN and PA will be much closer.


Personally I'd distinguish between my fairly strong opinion that Obama would win if the election were held today, and my opinion that there's so much that could happen (or might not happen) between now and November regarding the economy, that to all intents and purposes the only "poll" that counts is still a crapshoot.

I do think, however, that from a purely objective standpoint (ho, ho), the Democrats have a lot more potent weaponry to unload against the Vulture and the Voucher than the Republicans have against Obama. The Republicans have put all their bets on two things: Arousing their base to a fever pitch, and praying that the economy gets noticeably worse between now and November. If I were them, I'd be doubling down on those prayers.

Beyond that, while the country is genuinely divided on the wedge ("social") issues, the one issue I think could seriously burn the Republicans is that of abortion in the case of rape. It's fairly latent now, but that comment by Ryan a few days ago (rape is just another "method" of conception) has the potential to motivate Democratic women to get out the vote to a degree that I don't think the Republicans can quite fathom. Forget that clown Akin. I'm talking about the guy who's on the national ticket. That comment of Ryan's has only been simmering somewhat below the surface at this point, but don't bet that at the right moment some woman won't openly ask Ryan if he (Ryan) personally thinks that she should be forced to bear a rapist's baby, and not let him duck behind Romney's skirt.

At that point Mr. Ryan is going to either have to do a 180 from what he's stated, or he's going to have to experience a zugzwang moment that might very well sink his ticket like a lead balloon. Even among Republican women, there aren't too many who would choose to carry the baby of a rapist to term.

If the Democrats are afraid to force that issue in the most visible possible way, they'll have only themselves to blame for the reprieve they've handed R&R on a silver platter. Dukakis had to answer a similar question about capital punishment in 1988, but even that answer of his wasn't nearly as horrifying as what Ryan said on that local TV station.

One can only wonder what Ryan might say if the hypothetical rapist were Willie Horton.

Oh, and for all the alleged "liberal bias" of the MSM, I've yet to see that comment reported in the New York Times or Washington Post, let alone featured as prominently as it deserves to be.
   4185. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4219761)
I don't know what qualifies this as "weird." I've been reading for a year that the Tea Party is dead, and yet it keeps racking up wins.

It's not that hard to understand. The Tea Party wields big time power in Republican primaries, and a fair amount of power in solid red states and districts. Outside those friendly confines, they're more of a detriment to Republican goals than a help. Just ask the GOP in Nevada or Delaware.
   4186. steagles Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4219762)
I'm close to Joe on the Nate Silver thing. He went from nobody (in the political arena) to somebody almost literally overnight. And if he weren't a liberal himself, I can't see that the BBTF high-fivers would be kneeling before him.
I agree. Again, lest anyone believe otherwise, I enjoy Nate's work and I'm impressed with his quick ascent in the political world. More than anything, I'm just skeptical when people present allegedly unbiased numbers alongside partisan analysis. Nate makes no secret that he's a political liberal, so it would be naive to believe that biases can't and don't creep into his methodology and/or analysis. (And unlike a zero-sum baseball game, there are all sorts of ways for bias to creep into political modeling, whether it's the Dem/GOP weight, voter enthusiasm, registered vs. likely, etc.)
what are you people accusing nate silver of doing? he's a self-described liberal, yes, and his writing reflects that, but from a numbers point of view, what benefit is there for him to purposefully skew his projections?

politics actually is a zero-sum game. there is a winner and there is a loser, and i could be missing something, but i am not seeing any incentive for silver to rig his numbers.

   4187. GregD Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4219767)
I don't know what qualifies this as "weird." I've been reading for a year that the Tea Party is dead, and yet it keeps racking up wins.
Look at the piece, which is quoted from its beginning.

1) More proof the liberal media doesn't get it
2) Tea Party backed candidate won in Texas
3) Well, the real people that got shook up in Texas was the Texas Republican Party and its establishment
4) And oh yeah the liberal media was writing about the Tea Party-backed candidate's momentum and chance of victory
5) So this shows the liberal media doesn't get it!

There are, of course, moments when the media--whether liberal or otherwise--has egg on its face, but the inability of the Texas Republican Party to deliver victory to its chosen candidate seems like a strange example to prove this, especially when the same media had been covering this upset as a real live possibility.
   4188. Lassus Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4219768)
And if he weren't a liberal himself, I can't see that the BBTF high-fivers would be kneeling before him.

You and Dan are making a good pair with the hyperbole lately. Is it a libertarian thing?
   4189. greenback calls it soccer Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4219772)
No, they're two different animals. Baseball is essentially a zero-sum game with 30 teams and ~1,000 players, while politics is essentially a binary choice in a much more nebulous environment. In politics, there's far more room for biases — conscious and subconscious — to impact the data.

Good God, did you read anything from Baseball Prospectus ten years ago? Billy Beane's #### didn't stink, and any success for the Angels or White Sox was a fluke. That's not to say Silver engaged in that stuff, but per Gary Huckabay, selling books is a pretty obvious incentive for skewing your analysis.
   4190. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4219776)
politics actually is a zero-sum game. there is a winner and there is a loser, and i could be missing something, but i am not seeing any incentive for silver to rig his numbers.

Elections are a zero-sum game, but political polling isn't. The Dem/GOP split, voter enthusiasm, registered vs. likely voters, etc., etc., all make political polling as much art as science.
   4191. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4219782)
You and Dan are making a good pair with the hyperbole lately. Is it a libertarian thing?


It's a Ray and Dan thing.

The idea that Silver's analysis must be skewed because he's a liberal thinker personally is just another example of the current weak relativism and hackeneyed post-modernism at play in "conservative" thinking these days.
   4192. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4219783)
I think the BBTF liberal elite here trust Nate, because he's one of them.

If Nate's statistical chops were the same but his politics were Snapper's or Joe's, somehow I doubt the libs here would be bowing down before him.

I also wonder whether his blog would have been picked up so quickly by the Times if he were a right winger.
   4193. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4219786)
Elections are a zero-sum game, but political polling isn't. The Dem/GOP split, voter enthusiasm, registered vs. likely voters, etc., etc., all make political polling as much art as science.


But elections are what Nate's predicting. There's art in interpreting baseball statistics too - park factors, platoon advantages, aging curves - as there is in any statistical modeling - the art is in knowing what to put in the model and how to put it there. But at the end of the day, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and, as others said above, Nate has a track record now and, on the statistical side, it's a damn good one.
   4194. GregD Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4219787)
I also wonder whether his blog would have been picked up so quickly by the Times if he were a right winger.
Conservatives are never able to place anyone in the NY Times op/ed columns until they've sweated decades in knuckle-breaking labor!

Age at first NYT regular columnist appearance:

Ross Douthat, 29
Paul Krugman, 46

   4195. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4219788)
I think the BBTF liberal elite here trust Nate, because he's one of them.


I think the lady doth protest too much, Ray. I don't trust OPS because Chipper Jones was always good at it.
   4196. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4219790)
Conservatives are never able to place anyone in the NY Times op/ed columns until they've sweated decades in knuckle-breaking labor!

Age at first NYT regular columnist appearance:

Ross Douthat, 29
Paul Krugman, 46

Where's the conservative?
   4197. GregD Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4219792)
Where's the conservative?
Touche. It is unfair to characterize radical theocrats as conservatives. If that offended any of the four remaining Burkeans in the country, I will doff my cap to them in apology. Though I don't owe them anything like the number of apologies the Republican Party does...
   4198. tshipman Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4219793)
I think that Silver probably wouldn't be writing at the NYT, but he would be writing for Fox or Bloomberg or hell, even Drudge. His stuff is good.

No one thinks Intrade leans liberal or conservative and they get cited all the time despite dubious authenticity.
   4199. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4219796)
The other thing about Nate Silver is that he posts his methodology and how he came to the numbers he's using. You're more than welcome to look at what economic factors he's using and how he determines what weight to give each poll and how he came to that decision and decide for yourself whether it's reasonable. He's very, very open about it, and it's something that really improves the ability to check his work and math.

Me, I've been a fan of his since he was still posting as Poblano, largely because I'm interested in the data even when it tells me things I didn't expect and literally no one was doing what he was doing in 2008. He nailed his prediction of Obama's Super Tuesday delegate count at a time that Hillary Clinton's campaign still didn't understand the impact of proportional allocation of delegates, and when the media as a whole was even worse. That is a big reason why he was on TV months later, and why the NY Times hired him.
   4200. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4219797)
No one thinks Intrade leans liberal or conservative and they get cited all the time despite dubious authenticity.


If it weren't so hard to get money into that system, I would make so much friggin cash from the idiots on there. Just the Republican primary alone! Of course, if the market was easier to enter, it probably would be a lot deeper and thus much more accurate.
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